Historic downtown Eureka Springs is on the National Registry of Historic Places and we would certainly agree with such a designation. This unique town hugs the cliffs. There are no streets that have a 90 degree angle for intersecting and there are no traffic lights. It was originally called 'Magic City' and later called 'Stairstep Town'. The names may have changed but it is still magical and there are still lots of steps. Native Americans described it as a place with a Great Healing Spring and the reputed healing powers of the springs in the area were to become the basis for early growth as a destination Victorian resort village and spa, particularly for the wealthy.
Overlooking Eureka Springs is the 7 story statue of Christ of the Ozarks. It is one of the most visited attractions in the Ozarks with about 500,000 visitors a year. It was built in 1966 by Emmet Sullivan who had served as an apprentice to one of the sculptors of the Mt. Rushmore Monument. It is made of 340 tons of concrete interlaced with steel and is welded into the rock of Magic Mountain. There are 24 layers of white mortar that is attached to a steel frame. We decided to try photographing in the early morning, hoping the sun would rise and illuminate Christ's face. No such luck. So we returned for the evening light and took more photographs then.
Thorncrown Chapel is just a few miles out of Eureka Springs. It was commissioned by Jim Reed, a retired school teacher. The Chapel was designed by E. Fay Jones, who had apprenticed with Frank Lloyd Wright. Construction was completed in 1980. The design represents the Prairie School architecture which was very popular at the time. It was awarded the American Institute of Architects' Design of the Year in 1981 and also received the prestigious American Institute of Architecture 25 Year Award.
We hope you have a sense of our Eureka Springs experience. We saved you the steps!! We have hundreds more photographs. Even so, we would be happy to go back and get the rest of the opportunities!